It’s Official: Datsyuk Heading Home To Russia
The Magic Man has no more tricks up his sleeve, he's returning home to Russia.
On Saturday, Pavel Datsyuk announced during a break in his hockey camp at Orchard Lake that he would be headed home to Russia and not play out the last year of his NHL contract.
Datsyuk, 37, had expressed interest in returning home to be with his family, including his teenage daughter from a previous marriage and to play in front of Russian fans.
Datsyuk reportedly received an offer from SKA St. Petersburg while in Russia for the world championships. He won bronze captaining the national team.
Datsyuk was selected for Russia's World Cup roster recently. The tournament will take place in Canada in August.
Datsyuk leaves the Red Wings with 14 years in the NHL (all with Detroit). His 314 goals (7th in Red Wings history), 604 assists (5th in Red Wings history), and 918 points (6th in Red Wings history) in 953 games (8th in Red Wings history), mark him as one of the best to play in a Red Wings sweater.
He won four Lady Byng trophies (most gentlemanly player) and three Selke trophies (best defensive forward) during his career as well.
The Red Wings now face a tough task of trying to move his $7.5 million cap hit to allow space for bringing in new players in free agency. It is possible the Red Wings make a trade with a team like Arizona or another team trying to make it to the cap floor.
When Datsyuk officially retires, his contract will not be able to be moved but the team in control of that contract will not have to pay him the ~$5 million he is due, though the cap hit will remain on that teams books. This is good for teams just trying to make the cap floor for next season as a cost effective way of inflating their cap number.
Farewell Magic Man.